Metal roof adds pleasing form to function of Florida utility facility

Electric utilities and their line workers depend on a range of vehicles to keep power flowing and to return service to customers when outages occur. This means the buildings used to store and maintain those vehicles can be critical to operational efficiency. As a new purpose-built maintenance facility for Gulf Power’s Panama City, Fla., operations shows, many times these aren’t basic garages.

The Pensacola, Fla.-based utility turned to local firm Bay Design Architecture to develop plans for the 6,910-sq.-ft. structure. High on the list of requirements – quite literally – was room to store two 5-ton cranes. This required a roof height of more than 48 ft. The maintenance crew also needed a fabrication shop and other key components for maintaining boom trucks and other equipment. Of course, the building also had to stand up to the region’s salt air and occasional hurricanes.

Durable PAC-CLAD metal panels from Petersen were an obvious choice for the facility’s distinctive curved roof. Among other advantages, specifiers were drawn to the fact that PAC-CLAD’s Tite Loc Plus panels could be curved to meet the arcing shape called for in the designers’ plans. Installers from Panama City-based Art Construction field-curved 7,800 sq. ft. of the 0.40-gauge, Charcoal-finished panels to bring the plans to life.

Architects carried that same Charcoal finish onto the 1,000 sq. ft. of 0.40-gauge Flush panels used to top the protective overhangs mounted above the maintenance facility’s garage-bay doors. And the plans also incorporated 4,500 sq. ft. of Petersen’s Precision Series S-1 panels in Bone White to call out the front elevation’s second story. While the color matches that of the concrete masonry units below, the panel’s board-and-batten-style reveals draw visitors’ eyes upward, toward the roof’s graceful arch.

Reliant South of Panama City was the general contractor for the project.